5 February 2018: Solidarity In Macerata

 

Macerata & Americanata


Hate and violence will not divide us.” ––Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni


On Saturday a mass shooting in the central Italian town of Macerata injured six African migrants, one seriously. It was a migrant-targeted, racially motivated shooting carried out by Luca Traini, who was arrested with the Italian flag draped over his shoulders and delivering a fascist salute. 

He shot the rounds from the window of his car to avenge, he said, the brutal murder of Pamela Mastropietro, 18, whose remains were finally linked to an undocumented Nigerian migrant the day before. 

The collective outcry against Traini’s actions were swift, and already that day the center that houses two of the injured, Gruppo Umana Solidarietà (GUS), denounced the actions, and on Sunday in Macerata many demonstrated in solidarity with the migrant victims.

MotM honors them here too. You can repeat the gesture by copying and pasting their names into your Twitter and Facebook feeds:
 

Wilson Kofi, 20, Ghana
Omar Fadera, 23, Gambia
Jennifer Odion, 25, Nigeria
Gideon Azeke, 25, Nigeria
Mahamadou Toure, 28, Mali
Festus Omagbon, 32, Nigeria

#Macerata #Solidarity #Humanity

Then, not to be outdone, disgraced former Prime Minister and leader of the right wing Forza Italia, Silvio Berlusconi, held a televised interview calling the influx of migrants in the country “a social bomb ready to explode.” Ironic, from a man who has been labeled “The man who screwed an entire country” in front of an international audience, yet his words remain powerful to an electorate who heads to the polls in less than a month for a contest defined prominently by immigration.

The shooter, Luca Traini, is a member and failed candidate of the anti-immigration Lega Nord party, which has allied its power with Berlusconi’s Forza Italia and the Fratelli d’Italia, also right wing, for a majority lead. Meaning, Berlusconi’s fear mongering could be poised to prevail.

Here, on the other side of the ocean, there is Trump, equalled with Berlusconi in his offensiveness of character, political makeup, and normative verbal blunders. Both act in blissful disregard of the experience of the other and of the marginalized in a manner so habitual that for a moment you might feel we are at their mercy. 

But yesterday was Super Bowl Sunday, when more than all of America is tuned in to see which team the New England Patriots are up against this year; and to see the other thing this country does well, make commercials that indulge sentimentality and, sometimes, our movements of revolt. 

Cellular provider T-Mobile spoke up on behalf of equal rights and representation across race and gender. Pras from The Fugees took out a spot for his organization Blacture, demanding black culture “Be celebrated. Not tolerated”; and Toyota’s minute long montage advocating for migration, at least on a small scale, signed off with the missive, “When you are free to move, anything is possible.”

Trump will remain in office as long as his term or an impeachment committee allows, whichever comes first, but it’s at an approval rating only faintly larger than Berlusconi’s allied 35% “majority.” The rest of us should maintain solace in the meantime by continuing to stand up for what we know is right in solidarity.